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  1. #1
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    Best and lowest priced bike

    Hi, everyone. I'm new to the forum and to MTBing. My question is what is the best lowest priced bike? I'm open to used bikes. I have "tried to read through the forum and do some research online but I don't really even know what I'm looking for, much less what good prices are. I see cheaply priced shimano stuff and I wonder "is this the good quality stuff at a discount or is it just cheaply priced?" I do believe in the saying if it's too good to be true then it probably is.

    I'm 5'8", 218 lbs. (I'm trying to lose weight and get back down to 180), and I'm 27. I have a bike that is about 10 years old. I spent 5 years in the Marine Corps (02-07) and now i'm getting into biking. My bike is a 26" Mongoose from Wal-Mart that spent the last 10 years in a barn (and worse). It still moves. Apparently there was a recall in the early '00s for the Ballistic 105 front shocks which is what's on my bike. Three weeks ago I started riding with some friends at work on some trails in the woods. Not too hardcore but some of the harder trails get more technical. I don't ever plan on jumping or any downhill comps but I really enjoy trail riding and some pavement riding. What types/brands/models of bikes should I be looking for to get the best value under $300. Like I said I am more than willing to get a used bike I just don't know which bikes to start looking at.

    Thanks for your help in advance.

  2. #2
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    Look on Craigslist. You can find some older Treks Giants or Specialized that will still be way better than a new superstore bike.
    Ride

  3. #3
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    Ride

  4. #4
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    If you could up the budget a little bit you could get something a bit better than what you already have. Here a couple of example of pretty decent bikes. In the $300 range and less there is a lot of "garage sale" stuff that people buy for next to nothing and resell. Its not impossible to find something but if you move past $400 or so you should be able to find a bike with at least 24 speeds, fairly light weight, and a decent fork. Heres a couple.
    You will probably need to figure out whether you can ride an 18 inch frame or need to stay with a 16 inch

    http://asheville.craigslist.org/bik/1748415800.html

    http://asheville.craigslist.org/bik/1742243153.html

    http://asheville.craigslist.org/bik/1740835898.html

  5. #5
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    Thanks for your input guys. Unfortunately I won't be able to get a good bike any time soon. Several factors play into this but money being the biggest factor. Right now I am in a bit of a financial bind and don't have very much wiggle room as far as money. I just got into biking three weeks ago with a bike that, as I'm told now, is over ten years old (probably closer to fifteen). Anyway since I'm so new to this my wife doesn't want to spend 300 bones on a bike that I may not use after a month or two. On top of that I went to get a $14 dollar inspection on my Harley and had to replace the back tire. There's another 200 bucks gone. So I made a deal with the devil (her words) that we agreed upon. I can literally only, and barely, afford a $100 walmart bike so I got the Hyper Vortex 21-speed. IF I'm still riding in one year, which I think I will be because it's fun and good exercise, then I can get fitted for a bike a LBS and get a $300 bike. All I gotta do is stick with it.

    BTW the reason I had to get a new bike is because my 15 year old walmart Mongoose's shifter for the crank gears broke and I only had 1-7 gears, it literally wouldn't shift into the 2nd and 3rd cogs.

    I know how most people feel about department store bikes so I'll be sure to tell you of any horror stories I might have. Hopefully I have none.

  6. #6
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    Let's see ya loose weight on the Harley. Sell the Harley and get a bike
    Ride

  7. #7
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    If you're low on dough, may I suggest buying a bike piece by piece....you can start with a frame set, hardtail, by Access from Performance bikes, for starters....$79.00 for a more then adequate MTB frame....from there, as your budget allows, start buying discontinued or steeply discounted/overstocked components....check with the established internet stores that always have a deal you can steal on a part. If you need help on what parts you need, PM me, and I can guide you along the way. If you do it right, over a couple of months or so, you can have everything you need for a build for about $500; add to that about a $100 or so for a good LBS to put it together for you, and you have a bike that if sold by an LBS would be sold for atleast $850 up to about $1000.00.

    Anyway, that's my suggestion if you're cash strapped and not in a major rush. Semper Fi hermano.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steeljaws
    If you're low on dough, may I suggest buying a bike piece by piece....you can start with a frame set, hardtail, by Access from Performance bikes, for starters....$79.00 for a more then adequate MTB frame....from there, as your budget allows, start buying discontinued or steeply discounted/overstocked components....check with the established internet stores that always have a deal you can steal on a part. If you need help on what parts you need, PM me, and I can guide you along the way. If you do it right, over a couple of months or so, you can have everything you need for a build for about $500; add to that about a $100 or so for a good LBS to put it together for you, and you have a bike that if sold by an LBS would be sold for atleast $850 up to about $1000.00.

    Anyway, that's my suggestion if you're cash strapped and not in a major rush. Semper Fi hermano.
    This is one of the most expensive ways to buy a bike. You will not be able to piece together a bike for less than you can buy one, either online or at a LBS. Not even at sale prices or off ebay. It's a great way to build up a bike just the way you want it and many people do this, including myself. But, it's not inexpensive. Try it. Go on ebay or Jenson, Price Point, Nashbar, Performance, etc. and spec out a bike and then compare it to a LBS price or Bikesdirect bike. Do it apples to apples. See what you get.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by meloh1
    This is one of the most expensive ways to buy a bike. You will not be able to piece together a bike for less than you can buy one, either online or at a LBS. Not even at sale prices or off ebay. It's a great way to build up a bike just the way you want it and many people do this, including myself. But, it's not inexpensive. Try it. Go on ebay or Jenson, Price Point, Nashbar, Performance, etc. and spec out a bike and then compare it to a LBS price or Bikesdirect bike. Do it apples to apples. See what you get.
    Plus, you really need to know what you're getting and why.
    I don't think the OP's in that position ...yet - someday!
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  10. #10
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    I do it all the time; starting with a decent HT frame, knowing where to look for sales, and patience. Just completed a bike for a niece that utilized the Access frame at $79.00, complete NOS 2006 Shimano LX parts with exception of XTR shifters and XTR brake levers, Sun Rhyno Lite wheelset on XT hubs, and Conti tires, Ritchey headset, stem, and bar, with a total cost of $680.00. No LBS bike sold at $680 will compare to my build....it's all in the details.

  11. #11
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    Building a bike piece by piece isn't such a bad idea. Even if it costs more in the long run it is an idea I would consider. Yes I don't much about bike parts or which ones are good/better than others nor do I know which parts work with which other parts but I'm sure enough people have that knowledge and could guide me if I chose to pursue that path. One option is to get a good entry bike and then start piecing together my own.

    I did revise my deal with the wife and I'm gonna try to get a bike perhaps no later than when I get my taxes back next year. In the mean time I'm switching back to my Mongoose that only has 1st - 7th gears, those are the gears I use most anyway. That wal-mart $100 piece of crap is just that crap. It's even worse than my old bike. It feels to small, the handle bar ends have a wierd angle to them, the grips aren't big enough and they're way uncomfortable, the front shocks are too spongy, and even first gear feels like third gear on my other bike. I don't think any bike should be that horrible even for a walmart bike. I'm so disappointed and will never buy another walmart bike. I have never rode even an entry level mountain bike and I'm already on the band wagon with everyone else about not buying department store bikes. To any one who does have a department store bike and likes it, I applaud you. But it's not for me anymore.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steeljaws
    I do it all the time; starting with a decent HT frame, knowing where to look for sales, and patience. Just completed a bike for a niece that utilized the Access frame at $79.00, complete NOS 2006 Shimano LX parts with exception of XTR shifters and XTR brake levers, Sun Rhyno Lite wheelset on XT hubs, and Conti tires, Ritchey headset, stem, and bar, with a total cost of $680.00. No LBS bike sold at $680 will compare to my build....it's all in the details.
    Except, I bought a Rocky Mountain for my daughter last year with equivalent parts, except the XTR shifter/brake for $500. It was NOS and from a dealer. She didn't have to wait for me to source the parts and build the bike and had it to ride right away. I'd say the frame is better. It's not that hard to find deals like this and takes much less time than sourcing and building.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by meloh1
    Except, I bought a Rocky Mountain for my daughter last year with equivalent parts, except the XTR shifter/brake for $500. It was NOS and from a dealer. She didn't have to wait for me to source the parts and build the bike and had it to ride right away. I'd say the frame is better. It's not that hard to find deals like this and takes much less time than sourcing and building.
    .....and in the abscence of finding a deal such as yours, sourcing out parts deals is the way I fly; btw, equivalent parts is not on my menu.

    P.S. Post up a pic of that Rocky Mountain, with the detailed spec sheet...I am most curious.

  14. #14
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    Well, my daughter lives 1000 miles away in Colorado and the shop was in Idaho. It was an LX build with an XT rear der. The hubs were DTSwiss, not XT, but equivalent. It was a 2007 or so hardtail but don't remember the exact model. Blue and white.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by meloh1
    Well, my daughter lives 1000 miles away in Colorado and the shop was in Idaho. It was an LX build with an XT rear der. The hubs were DTSwiss, not XT, but equivalent. It was a 2007 or so hardtail but don't remember the exact model. Blue and white.

    Hmmmmmm, very interesting.....must check out the 2007 Rocky Mountain catalog.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steeljaws
    Hmmmmmm, very interesting.....must check out the 2007 Rocky Mountain catalog.
    My guess is it wasn't stock. The shop may have even built up a frame from parts but I'm just speculating. I never compared it to a stock Rocky Mountain model. It was a good deal for a good bike that was the right size so I bought it.

  17. #17
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    Has anyone ever heard of a Huffy Powerline? It's a dual suspension bike. The front shocks are not the regular (in my mind) type, this front shock has a triple tree. Anyway is this a walmart bike or what? It was given to me but I don't know if it's any good.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowman36
    Has anyone ever heard of a Huffy Powerline? It's a dual suspension bike. The front shocks are not the regular (in my mind) type, this front shock has a triple tree. Anyway is this a walmart bike or what? It was given to me but I don't know if it's any good.

    Avoid them like you would avoid the Plague .

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biohazard74
    Let's see ya loose weight on the Harley. Sell the Harley and get a bike
    lol...it's true, the Harley will only make you fatter. Look at the shape of the majority of HOGS...

    The moment I sold my 2007 Fat Boy...was the moment I got fit. Fast-forward three years later - my waist went from a barrel-gut 40 to a 29 now with a ripped, six-pack and bulging veins everywhere. Trust me - your body will THANK YOU!!!
    "This is a male-dominated forum... there will be lots of Testosterone sword-shaming here" ~ Kenfucius

  20. #20
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    bike build

    Quote Originally Posted by Steeljaws
    I do it all the time; starting with a decent HT frame, knowing where to look for sales, and patience. Just completed a bike for a niece that utilized the Access frame at $79.00, complete NOS 2006 Shimano LX parts with exception of XTR shifters and XTR brake levers, Sun Rhyno Lite wheelset on XT hubs, and Conti tires, Ritchey headset, stem, and bar, with a total cost of $680.00. No LBS bike sold at $680 will compare to my build....it's all in the details.
    Building your own bike is a sweet idea. I have been contemplating this for sometime but hae no clue on what parts I need other than the obvious. I can do $800. Where do I start!?!?!?

  21. #21
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    Custom Build!

    Quote Originally Posted by ccd1977
    Building your own bike is a sweet idea. I have been contemplating this for sometime but hae no clue on what parts I need other than the obvious. I can do $800. Where do I start!?!?!?
    Building your own bike part-by-part from scratch...is one of the most gratifying ownership experiences one can embark upon. Not only do you get the bike you've always wanted - but the entire learning curve as to which parts best suit your intended riding conditions soon become an educational journey of pure fun.

    Start with the frame. Get either the lightest OR strongest frame you can afford, depending on your body weight and/or intended riding conditions. Never scrimp on the frame...its the foundation of your ride.

    For me, I went with weight - only because I realized I was working way too hard on a heavy, 38-pound bike. The moment I rode a light bike(under 20lbs) I was forever hooked, and became an obsessive weight weenie. It was this change of attitude that soon began to empty my already slim wallet. Do I regret it? Absolutely not. A featherweight bike literally climbs hills for you and getting up to speed becomes almost easy and effortless...i.e; I FEEL like a racer - even though I am really FAR from one!!!
    "This is a male-dominated forum... there will be lots of Testosterone sword-shaming here" ~ Kenfucius

  22. #22
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    I have fallen for the lighter bikes and is why I want to build one. I am 360lbs but just wanna ride street, grass and sidewalks and maybe a little 6 inch bunny hop to get up on a curb. I noticed teh performance bike Access frame but dont know what fork to get for it. I am not wanting shocks but rigid.

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